Compared to other dating techniques, Nitrogen dating can be unreliable because leaching from bone is dependent on temperature, soil p H, ground water, and the presence of microorganism that digest nitrogen rich elements, like collagen.
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Chemical properties such as hygroscopicity (tendency to react with ambient water) vary tremendously depending on the structure. Devine, Plenum (NY) 1992]I've seen a lot of work using the refractive index at optical frequencies to characterize silica.
("Devitrification" -- that is, crystallization -- of quartz furnace tubes used for high-temperature oxidation is sometimes observed after thousands of hours of use at temperatures exceeding 1200 °C.) The amorphous structure is tends to be very "open": even in thermally-grown oxides, channels exist through which small positive ions such as Na can readily migrate.
These ions can move under the influence of electric fields within the gate oxides of MOS transistors, causing shifts in the voltage at which the transistor turns on ("threshold shifts").
As the concentration of H at the surface is reduced this becomes increasingly improbable. a hydrogen plasma helps desorb the remaining isolated Si OH. 4639 (1995)]Intermetal dielectric: In IC processing it is often important that each deposited layer end up with a flat surface upon which to build and pattern subsequent layers -- planarization.
[reference: "Thermal Stability of Hydroxyl Groups on a Well-Defined Silica Surface", O. One means of planarizing a layer is to melt it and let it flow as a liquid, minimizing surface tension and thus curvature.
Search for fluourine dating:
The bond distance is slightly smaller than the sum of the conventional covalent "radii" of the atoms: Si (0.11 nm) O(0.066 nm) = 0.18 nm.